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Letter: We need the casino

After weeks of anticipation, a House committee recommended defeating the most recent incarnation of an expanded gambling bill which promises to bring a $600 million facility to Salem.

Most residents have seen the lofty plans from Rockingham Park & Millennium Gaming – a gorgeous new facility including a casino, convention center, hotel, spa, 1,500-seat arena and brand new grandstand for the return of live horse racing.

Ironically, it was a Salem representative – Marilinda Garcia – who cast the deciding vote to defeat this venture in her own town (a town which recently saw an overwhelming 81 percent of the voting public cast a ballot in favor of this proposal.) Perhaps Garcia is unaware what the term “representative” actually means.

The dinosaurs in the House are pushing an income tax, despite the fact that multiple polls prove the public does not support such ideas while it does support expanded gambling.

Meanwhile, 40 states now offer some form of legalized slots, with Massachusetts poised to crush New Hampshire’s tourism dollars, lottery sales, and rooms and meals taxes when it opens its casino doors.

Former governor John Lynch’s own gambling commission stated the same in its 2010 report, suggesting losses nearing $100 million annually if New Hampshire does not compete with Massachusetts and open its own casino.

House members have an historic opportunity in front of them tomorrow. They will determine whether to increase our tourism industry exponentially while creating thousands of new, good-paying jobs, or whether to cause massive harm to revenues upon which we sorely rely.

Millennium’s Meadows racetrack and casino in Pennsylvania has brought more than $3 million in new revenue to neighboring businesses in the community.

Don’t believe the fear-mongering about cannibalization of local business; reality paints a very different picture.



Legacy Comments4

If New Hampshire does not want a casino then they better get serious about an income or sales tax. No longer can we bear all State expenses dumped on the towns and property tax payers. So the ball is in your court N.H. House of Representatives!! Either "fish or cut bait", the status quo is not working anymore!!!!

The public overwhelmingly opposes an income tax because the public figures THEY might end up paying it. The same public overwhelmingly supports gambling because they figure all that revenue will come from other people - the suckers. Besides, it's FUN sitting like a zombie in front of a slot machine that exists for the sole purpose of separating you from your money. But in the end, I have come around to supporting a casino at The Rock. Not because I think it's a good thing which I don't, but because it will give the state and Millennium a chance to erect a big sign on I-93 that perfectly expresses their shared philosophy. "Welcome to New Hampshire. We're here to fleece you."

I don't gamble, but who are you to call people who do "suckers" or "zombies". I think that people who attend Red River Theater to a bit high minded, snobby, pretentious and preachy but I know that it takes all kinds to make up the world. And I don't welcome all of that traffic so I am glad that it is in Salem. My favorite saying is "Welcome to New Hampshire....No Go Home!"

Penny-stock hustlers, showmen, grifters, carnies and 3-card Monty dealers all use the same word to describe the honest people who willingly hand over their money in exchange for illusions: "suckers." As for "zombies," I'll take suggestions how else to describe people mesmerized by the act of shoving money into the slots. And don't be glad it will be in Salem; the House killed the bill.

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